“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
This quote heavily influences the Intensity Toolbox concept, often referred to as ‘Maslow’s Hammer.’ The idea is simple and highly transferrable to CrossFit, especially surrounding the conversation of intensity.
When you regularly throw a dynamic yet ambiguous word around, a clear definition and commitment to education are paramount.
When we at Misfit Athletics use the word Intensity, we are referring to a great concentration of a particular attribute. While the idea of being physically or emotionally intense as a show of force or extremes is part of the conversation, it is far from the entire picture.
With that sentiment expressed, we welcome you to the Intensity Toolbox. A visual and metaphorical representation of the attributes that amplify when highly concentrated. When separated and understood, a set of attributes that can move the needle on an entire array of applications.
We hope that the following list of ideas and interpretations of applications help you develop a sense of what tools to use when, and which ones need more attention than others.
Ladder [Dedication]: On the road from point A to point B, it can be tempting to try and manipulate the natural order of things. The lure of attempting to skip un-skippable steps is mitigated by dedication. The ladder represents a willingness to take the steps needed to reach your destination.
Ruler [Growth]: For many, the ability to consistently grow and evolve over a longer timeline requires a commitment to measurement and reflection. The ruler reminds us that we are growing, even if it’s those hard-fought sixteenths of an inch vs. the smooth traverses of more considerable distances. This tool provides unprecedented context as to why these hard-fought battles for the smallest victories can be the most satisfying.
Paintbrush [Perform]: Many of the counterparts to the paintbrush in this box are well represented in the preparation and execution of performing on a stage, but the paintbrush itself is a particular and essential tool. Your ability to rise to the occasion can amplify, or dampen, the work you’ve put in in the shadows. Develop your brush.
Screwdriver [Mind Body Connection]: Our first simple connection to the hammer analogy appears with the screwdriver. A screw and a nail are as similar as they are different. The attention to detail required to create an automatic connection from our mind to our body reflects the actual action and challenges presented in using a screw vs. a nail. A level of presence is critical to this connection remaining tight throughout an entire session.
Saw [Grit]: If you’ve ever had to use a handsaw in place of a powered saw, you probably know where this is heading. The undeniable truth that there’s no way around a slightly painful sensation lingering throughout the entire cut can teach quite a lesson. Often times intensity presents itself as a test of your willingness to be just a bit uncomfortable for an extended period. In our sport, this truth could make or break your entire career. Learn to be gritty and learn when it’s time to break the saw out and settle in.
Wrench [Focus]: The wrench presents a unique metaphor for a unique application of intensity. Unlike the saw, there typically isn’t a ton of discomfort when using it, but the idea of remaining “in it” is key to tightening a bolt in a tough spot. It requires a level of attention throughout, or you’ll continuously only be partway done. With so many things to improve on in our sport, it can often feel quite random and aimless when we try to take it all in at once. Your ability to lock in on your current task is what decides how much “other stuff” it will take to get you to where you want to be. Focus with intent on your current objective and reap a much higher return.
Utility Knife [Precision]: Last but not least is our handy utility knife. High-intensity workouts with high skill movements demand precision under duress. Your ability to apply precision under fatigue will separate you from the pack even before calling upon your other tools to see the rest of the job through.